Little Wonder: The Fabulous Story of Lottie Dod, the World’s First Female Sports Superstar

Sasha Abramsky. Akashic, $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-61775-819-5
Abramsky (Jumping at Shadows) documents in this engrossing page turner the inspiring life of forgotten sports phenomenon Lottie Dod (1871–1960), who blazed a trail for women sports superstars today. Dod was born into a wealthy family in Liverpool, England, and dominated six sports over 25 years, becoming the youngest person to win Wimbledon in 1887 at the age of 15, gaining the nickname “Little Wonder” and going on to win four more times. Dod, “always eager for something new,” challenged men to matches, including Wimbledon champion William Renshaw and Scottish champion Harry Grove (and beat them both in 1888) before moving on to conquer another sport. In 1893, she trained for months in St. Moritz and became the world’s best female ice skater, then joined Elizabeth Main in summiting many of Norway and Switzerland’s most difficult mountains, and later competed in endurance bicycle treks across Europe. Dod won the British Ladies’ Golf Championship in 1904, and then claimed a silver medal in archery at the 1908 London Olympics. Throughout, Abramsky details the evolution of women’s roles in society and sports through Dod’s triumphs; her athleticism and fight for respect, Abramsky notes, contrasted with the Victorian views of women being fragile, and helped pave the way for suffragists. This astute history is a must read for sports fans and women’s studies’ students. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 03/24/2020
Release date: 06/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-61775-826-3
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